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The Promise and Perils of Personalization

The future promises a world where everything from Internet searches to medical treatments to education is personalized to the individual. While this vision is tantalizing from an individual experience, what will the effect be on society?

Maria Andersen

on 14 August 2013

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Transcript of The Promise and Perils of Personalization

Maria H. Andersen, Ph.D.

illustrated by
Mat Moore

Let's take a journey through
the game of life from the
perspective of personalization.
Contrast the Experiences
Listening to the radio
Listening to Pandora

Which is more comfortable?
Which has more randomness?
Is it personalization?
Google now
Is it personalization?
Facebook News Feed
Is it personalization?
when software adapts to your choices and actions by delivering a slightly different experience to each user
using technology to accommodate the differences between individuals
use of largely automatic processes in a system or software product
Amazon Recommendations
Is it personalization?
We have to get past the "invasive valley"
We will all carry settings for a Personal Life Operating System (PLOS) which will interact with the physical world.
orb bluetooth
It's going to be all about the data. Standardized data formats for everything.
"Forget Big Brother.
Wait till you meet Big Mother!"
-Joel Andersen
Now we take these three ideas on a journey through the physical world.
Personal Biome Analysis
Personal Brain Training
Personal Training
Data Standardization
It has to be like email. You can read the email you receive no matter which app was used to compose or send it.
Exercise Preferences
Car settings
Digital Desktop
Travel Preferences
Learning Goals
Your PLOS will store your "settings" for the world.
Wine List
Helpfulness of the app will help us get past the invasive valley.
Imagine all your loyalty cards automatically send information to the store when you walk in the door.
No cards to carry
No logins sites
Automatic discounts
Track points
Would you let the service track your data?
So let's look at one of the places where we are the most careful about not tracking data.
[there is some irony here]
Moral Obligations?
What if you knew with 75% certainty that a student would not be successful in a course or program?
What will digital learning look like?
What if the certainty was 90%? 99%?
What if more data about the student, including demographics, could give you that degree of certainty?
Personal Shoppers
Personalized Fashion?
Should we really be allowed to design our own shoes?
Shared Cars
Schedule themselves based on calendar
Choose model based on shopping list
Seats adjust to your body
Setting the Radio to your preferences
Adjusting the mirrors
Setting the Temperature
Get data from the PLOS
Drive themselves to your front door!
Intelligent Agents for Travel
Think "Amazon.com" for travel.
Analyze every aspect of the travel experience. Then make suggestions based on personal preferences and past experiences.
Buy it now!
Analyze calendars for down time and web searches for signs of stress and restlessness. Suggest travel expereinces with total price.
Personal Digital
TripIt + Amazon + Travelocity + Eventbrite
Rate all the events you attend
Acts as a "bot" to find new events
Matches travel schedule to local events
Incorporates who's traveling with you
Vote on possible activities
Danger of Echo Chambers
The more personalized our experiences, the less likely we are to seek out experiences that run counter to our tastes.
OTOH, new technology problems usually lead to new technology solutions.
Perhaps there will be a "comfort level" setting to all personalization products to allow users to get random suggestions outside their norms.
Remote Working
Personalization of the work day.
Personalization of Work?
Social effects?
Management effects?
What happens when a generation of
kids who grew up with extreme personalization gets to the workplace?
Personalized Medicine from Gene Analysis
Intelligent Health Agents
Simple Diagnoses
Health and Wellness Tracking
Monitoring Chronic Conditions
REAL Fashion Personalization
Fashion "Agent" has access to calendar, weather information, and wardrobe inventory.
Rate choices on functionality, comfort, compliments, fit and style.
Store data as part of PLOS. "Agent" suggests ways to fill in wardrobe gaps - searching out good options.
We have to get past the "invasive valley"
We will all carry settings for a Personal Life Operating System (PLOS) which will interact with the physical world.
It's going to be all about the data. Standardized data formats for everything.
use of technology to bring a high-end experience to the masses.
Full transcript